World biofuels assessment - Worldwide biomass potential: technology characterizations

Dec 2007

A joint EERE-PI project was completed to estimate the worldwide potential to produce and transport ethanol and other biofuels, with an emphasis on the 5 year and 10 year potential for biofuels supply to the United States. The project included four specific tasks: 1) identify the range of countries to be included in the study, 2) assess the resource potential for production of ethanol from sugar and starch-based feedstocks, and biodiesel, 3) assess the resource potential for production of other biofuels, including lignocellulosic ethanol, pyrolysis oil, and renewable diesel, and 4) integrate results into the MARKAL energy policy model. The project team included DOE (Policy and International and the Office of the Biomass Program), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (feedstock supply curves), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (conversion technology characterizations), and Brookhaven National Laboratory (MARKAL analysis).
The NREL portion of this study was primarily concerned with estimating the plant gate price (PGP) of liquid biofuels (corn and wheat dry mill ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, renewable diesel, and pyrolytic fuel oil) from selected biomass feedstocks for countries included in the study using representative existing and developing technologies. A methodology for comparing costs between countries was developed. Plant sizes studies ranged from 25 MM GPY to 100 MM GPY. The results of the technology characterizations (capital costs, operating costs, plant gate prices) are presented in 2005 U.S. dollars and include estimates of comparative costs in each country.
The countries of interest selected by the project team for the study are:
• The United States
• Argentina
• Brazil
• Canada
• The Caribbean Basin
• China
• Colombia
• India
• Mexico

By: R.L. Bain (US National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

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